Author: Dr. Jonathan Su, DPT, CSCS, TSAC-F, C-IAYT

Dr. Jonathan Su is the host of the Get-Fit Guy podcast. He is a physical therapist and fitness expert whose mission is to make fitness accessible for everyone. Dr. Su is author of the bestsellers Six-Minute Fitness at 60+ and Six-Minute Core Strength. Got a question for Dr. Su? You can email him at getfitguy@quickanddirtytips.com or leave him a message at the Get-Fit Guy voicemail line at (510) 353-3104.

Listener Mia emailed me to ask: “What’s the best equipment to use for strength training?” I get this question a lot from both new and experienced exercisers alike. With so many different types of strength training equipment available at the gym, in retail stores, and online, it’s easy to get confused and overwhelmed. The question I most frequently get asked is some variation of whether dumbbells, barbells, machines, or resistance bands are best. My answer is always “it depends” because in reality there’s no one best piece of workout equipment for everyone or even for the same person at different…

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My clients always want to know how long it takes to see progress from exercise. And by progress, they usually mean noticeable improvements in muscle mass and muscle strength from resistance training.  This is a fair question to ask because pumping iron is not exactly a walk in the park. It’s hard work both in the everyday sense of the word and in the physics definition of the word (amount of force multiplied by the distance over which it’s applied).  Allow me to nerd out a bit here. It’s interesting to think that to build muscle mass and strength, you…

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If you love working out but find going to the gym inconvenient or unappealing, building a home gym may be the way to go. The good news is that building the perfect home gym doesn’t have to cost a fortune or take up a ton of space. I’ve had my home gym for about a year now and I really love it. What makes having a home gym so awesome for me is the convenience factor. I simply step into my garage anytime I want to exercise without worrying about whether the gym is busy or if it’s even open.…

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It’s the first week of 2022 and if this year is anything like previous years, getting in shape and losing weight are the top New Year’s resolutions. One reason the holidays are so much fun, at least for me, is because all the rules for exercise and eating right go down the drain for the six weeks between Thanksgiving week and New Year.   Chick-fil-A on a weeknight after already having dinner? Yes, please! I’ll take a spicy deluxe sandwich with extra pickles, mac & cheese, and a strawberry milkshake. That’s a 1600 calorie snack and it’s only Tuesday.  But it’s…

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You’ve probably heard about the importance of having good core muscle strength. A strong core can improve posture, prevent back pain, and help you feel more capable and confident in your body.  But did you know that having a strong core by itself is not enough? In fact, what’s equally important is knowing how to use your core the right way so you can protect your back during exercise and more strenuous activities in daily life. You see, having a strong core without knowing how to skillfully engage it or activate it is like owning a fast car without knowing…

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It’s the week of Thanksgiving and I know that many of you are looking forward to spending quality time with loved ones and feasting on turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. The last thing you want to think about is exercise! But if you’re like me, the thought of skipping out on regularly scheduled workouts may bring on a sense of guilt that makes your stomach hurt more than overindulging on Thanksgiving.  So this time each year, for as long as I can remember, my solution was to compress my workout week by exercising on back-to-back days with the goal of…

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Have you ever experienced pain on one side of your butt or hip that radiates down your leg? Describe this pattern of pain to your primary care clinician and I bet you’ll be told that you have sciatica, a relatively common condition that up to 40% of people will suffer from at some point in life. Your clinician will likely explain that sciatica is caused by irritation, inflammation, pinching, or compression of a nerve in the lower back from a herniated or slipped disc. They may ask you to avoid certain activities, prescribe you meds, and refer you to a…

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Are you experiencing pain or discomfort in your neck, upper back, or shoulder from mobile device usage? You’re not alone—I’ve definitely noticed these complaints on the rise and I’ve had several clients see me specifically to address these symptoms. The truth is, we live in a hyper-connected world where most of us are constantly on our mobile devices, whether we’re texting friends, watching videos, checking the news, working, playing games, looking things up, or swapping between different social media apps. And if you’ve got a busy life like me, you’re probably doing most, if not all, of these things while…

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I’ve mentioned in a previous episode that fitness is like baking a cake. The essential ingredients for this cake are movement, nutrition, recovery, and mindset. But as any baker knows, timing is crucial. When it comes to nutrition, questions about what to eat before, during, and after workouts frequently come up. These are important questions because the nutrition you derive from food is the fuel that allows you to perform during workouts and recover from them afterward. If you’re fueling your body right, this back and forth between performance and recovery progressively leads to a leaner, stronger, and healthier body.…

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The assault bike (also referred to as a fan bike or an air bike) is one of the most effective ways to develop cardiovascular endurance. I personally hop on mine every week for a killer cardio session.  For those who aren’t familiar, an assault bike is an exercise bike with arm handles that you can push and pull in addition to pedals for your legs. The handles move in sync with the pedals and both are attached to a large fan in front of the bike that provides air resistance.  Because the assault bike allows more motion of the body…

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